Metropolis, which has been brought to the light of day thanks to the excavations that have been carried out since 1990, is located in the west of present-day Turkey between Yeniköy and Özbey villages in Torbalı Municipality. It is possible to see traces of early Neolithic as well as Classical, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman periods represented in the ancient city. Apart from the important buildings that formed the urban fabric of the ancient city life, 11,000 important archaeological findings, including ceramics, coins, glass, architectural pieces, figures, sculptures, artifacts made from bone and ivory, pithos and Hellenistic era artifacts made from metal and ceramics have been unearthed. The artifacts discovered at the archaeological site are being exhibited at the İzmir Archaeology Museum, İzmir History and Arts Museum and Ephesus Museum in Selçuk.
The archaeological findings unearthed in the ancient city of Metropolis, located in present-day western Turkey near Yeniköy village in Torbalı Municipality, over the last 25 years continue to shed light on its history. The excavations are supported by the Culture and Tourism Ministry, Directorate General of Cultural Assets and Museums and the Sabancı Foundation with contributions from Celal Bayar University, Metropolis Lovers Association (MESEDER) and Torbalı Municipality as well as various international and Turkish universities and the new excavation season will begin today under the stewardship of Associate Professor Serdar Aybek of the Department of Archaeology at Celal Bayar University.
During the excavations carried out in Metropolis, many exiting findings have been discovered and unearthed so far. The discoveries, such as a Hellenistic-era ancient theater, Roman-era public bath and the palaestra (ancient wrestling school) as well as a mosaics hall, peristyle hall, shops, public toilets and streets, which forms the ancient urban fabric, helped archaeologists and historians shed light on the social structure from 2,000 years ago. Beginning in 2008, the excavation of the Roman public bath palaestra complex is planned to be finalized by the end of this excavation season. Thanks to the rich and illuminating findings that the complex has been providing for seven years, the building is one of the most important structures in the archaeological site. Moreover, the building is considered one of the most authentic structures discovered in Anatolia for its architectural style and size. The mosaics, craftsmanship and rich decoration the building displays are distinctive features of the Roman era.
Aybek said they begin every excavation season with the same excitement and continued, "This is the 25th anniversary of the archaeological excavations in the ancient city of Metropolis. It is a great honor for us to unearth such an important building of the structure of the city."
In her statement on the issue, Sabancı Foundation General Manager Zerrin Koyunsağan said that archaeologists discover very important findings for the history of Anatolia every excavation season and went on, "Each piece unearthed for the last 25 years in the archaeological site created a stir among history lovers in both Turkey and the world and bring light to an important period of history. The Sabancı Foundation is happy and proud to contribute to the introduction of Anatolia's 2,500 years of history and culture to tourism." Apart from the cleaning work of the theater, which is one of the best-preserved theater ruins in Anatolia, archaeologists will continue excavation work in the city center and acropolis.